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FLORENCE     Florence –  the capital of the Tuscany region and the cradle of Renaissance   We opted for Flix Bus while traveling from Venice to Florence. The road journey takes about three and a half-hour. In Florence, it terminates at the rear end of Santa Maria Novella (SMN) train station. One of Italy’s busiest stations, it got its name from Santa Maria Novella Church just across the plaza from the main entrance. We debarked at the station and refreshed ourselves at McDonald's before hiring a cab for our hotel. Florence, popularly known as ‘Firenze’ by the Italians, is located in central Italy. This dreamy city with a romantic name is the regional capital of the lovely Tuscany region.   Columbus Hotel, where we stayed, is located in Lugarno District. We always prefer to book our hotels through Booking.com as we always land up getting good hotels at good locations. Despite being a little away from the heart of the city and Santa Maria Novella station

Poems of a retired Engineer from Calcutta

Poems penned by retired eminent Engineer Ramni Prasad


As I sit on the terrace
Of Mayfair Emerald in Kolkata,
I watch a heavenly phenomenon unfold

In the western sky.

The sun larger and red,

Seems sinking in the horizon

With an ever changing cloud pattern

A spectacle I watch in utter amazement.

The birds fly homewards,

Tired after the day’s toil,

Gather in groups,

Bidding goodbye to the restless world.

The dogs bark on the road below,

To settle some grave issues,

Then suddenly withdraw

And silence prevails again.

I go round the terrace,

On a leisurely walk.

Keep counting the mandatory rounds,

That falsely assures my fitness.

On the pavements below,

Ladies young and old,

Gather after their day’s toil,

To enjoy some mirth and merriment.

New apartment houses,

Keep coming up,

Served so far, by a single shop

The Ramakrishna Enterprises, working tirelessly.

Arpee Engineer, Nov.2012


Jawa, a deeply religious woman,

Partially owns a temple.

With other members of her family,

She worships many Gods and Goddesses.

The family shares the cost and toil,

And performs pujas round the year.

The Gods and Goddesses appear pleased

And the family is happy with their blessings.

Out in the large world,

Symbols of different religions predominate.

The Cross, The Moon and Star, The Trident,

And others seem uncomfortable with each other.

Somewhere the Gods laugh at the spectacle

Of human folly and myopic vision.

Residents of a microscopic planet earth,

Fail to see God’s awesome presence in the night sky.

When Carl Sagan beckons,

Go, have a glorious view of the Cosmos,

Which has been expanding since the Big Bang?

And will return to Brahma with the Big Crunch.

Arpee Engineer




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